A narrow staircase leads to the only apartment on the fifth floor. What was I doing there is something I don’t remember, among other things. I rang and knocked but no one answered, then I noticed the door was slightly ajar. Sitting at a desk was a man in his mid forties reading out loud from a book in a language I had not heard before. Hello, I said, the man did not recognize my presence and continued reading. Dementia had consumed both of us, without lifting his eyes from the book or pausing his recitation he put a copy of the book on the desk. I, without a shred of doubt, knew I had to take it, and I knew I possessed the knowledge and purity of heart to comprehend its letters.

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